“It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.” 1 Corinthians 13:6
As a former college athletic trainer, I have covered many athletic competitions in various sports. I have had the privilege to work with great coaches and athletes. One thing that is true in all the games that I’ve covered is that every coach and athlete wants to win. Unfortunately, there are many who will do it at any cost.
The word injustice in Greek can mean wickedness, wrongdoing, not righteous, false, or dishonest. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they should not celebrate if they witness someone in their community who intentionally chooses wrongdoing. Paul writes in Scripture that they should be happy and rejoice when God’s love and truth is being exemplified.
As an athlete, you most likely have witnessed teammates cutting corners in practice. Maybe you have broken the rules to use a banned substance to improve muscle strength or you may have witnessed your coaches yelling at teammates irresponsibly. Perhaps you’ve witnessed your coach selecting an injured player over a healthy one. Maybe you have seen the referee or umpire make a wrong call that helped your team gain an advantage. If you smiled, smirked, applauded, or even celebrated when any of these things happened, you too were rejoicing about injustice.
Practicing and playing with integrity is how truth wins out in competition. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “the time is always right to do what is right.” The time is always right to celebrate God’s truth. It is what He desires from us. His truth is that He loves you! His truth is that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37). That makes us winners!
- Have you experienced injustice in your respective sport? How did it make you feel?
- When you compete, do you display God’s love? How so?
- How can you encourage teammates to experience and rejoice in God’s truth?
Psalm 58:1; Matthew 22:16; 1 John 5: 1-5
“God in Heaven, I thank You for my athletic abilities. I confess that there are times where I did not honor You with my gifts either by participating in injustice or playing in a dishonest manner. Lord, please forgive me and increase my understanding of how I can play with integrity. Help me to display Your love and truth to others. Thank You for the victory in Jesus Christ. Amen.”